Katie Arrington (copy)

South Carolina state Rep. Katie Arrington, R-Summerville, is expected to announce her run for South Carolina’s 1st Congressional District next week. File

Republican state Rep. Katie Arrington of Summerville will announce her run for Congress next week against GOP incumbent U.S. Rep. Mark Sanford as she positions herself as the pro-President Donald Trump alternative.

Arrington's intent is outlined in an email making the rounds with Lowcountry Republicans in which she asks them to save Aug. 30 for a 10 a.m. kickoff in Summerville at a site to be announced later.

"I do not take running for this office lightly and it will be an uphill battle for me ... but one I feel compelled to do for our community and our country," the email says.

"We need to have a voice in DC that is heard and taken seriously, as mine has been in Columbia this past year and will be this coming session. I have a mission and need to get things done for Healthcare, Education and Defense," she added.

"Please let me know if you can support me as I jump off this cliff…" the note says.

Arrington did not return a phone message, but campaign consultant Michael Mule confirmed she wrote the email. More details about her plans will be released later, he said.

Arrington, 46, has long been positioning herself to challenge Sanford, of Mount Pleasant, the former governor and 1st District incumbent, including by filing federal paperwork earlier this month.

She comes to the race with little full-time political experience. She works in the defense industry in Charleston but has served only one year in the state Legislature, her only time in publicly elected office.

Arrington has been critical of Sanford for identifying Trump's rhetoric as being partly to blame for unleashing the political rage ahead of this summer's shooting in Alexandria, Va., that injured five, including a member of Congress.

Arrington tweeted her support for Trump again Monday night during the president's unveiling of his new Afghanistan policy.

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"Trump you are spot on!" she said.

Arrington would be the third Republican to announce a challenge versus Sanford after two previous GOP hopefuls dropped out. She would also be the second woman to take on Sanford in GOP primaries; former state lawmaker Jenny Horne lost to Sanford in the 2016 primary by a 55 percent to 45 percent vote.

The surprisingly close 4,300-vote spread was a concern for some political observers since Sanford had national name recognition and nearly $1 million in campaign cash available.

Arrington won the Summerville Statehouse seat that Horne gave up to challenge Sanford in 2016.

Democrat Joe Cunningham has also filed for the seat.

Reach Schuyler Kropf at 843-937-5551. Follow him on Twitter at @skropf47.

Political Editor

Schuyler Kropf is The Post and Courier political editor. He has covered every major political race in South Carolina dating to 1988, including for U.S. Senate, governorship, the Statehouse and Republican and Democratic presidential primaries.

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